Renegade soldiers took power in Mali’s capital city, Bamako, on Wednesday, apparently incensed that the government was not doing enough to help the army fight rebels in the northern deserts. The rebels—mostly Tuareg tribesmen who have periodically risen up against the government—restarted their old fight with new weapons brought over from Libya. The ghost of the Great Loon still haunts North Africa.The WSJ has the story:
“The army did not have at their disposal the materials they needed to put an end to the rebellion in the north of Mali . . . so they did a coup d’etat,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Nouhoum Togo, who said he wasn’t part of the coup. “It’s clear that Africa is passing through challenges brought to us by the fall of Gadhafi,” he added.
Until this week’s coup, the government of Mali was one of the strongest democracies in the region, having held four consecutive democratic elections since the overthrow of a 23-year-old military dictatorship in 1992. The fifth had been scheduled for next month.The Malian soldiers overthrew their government because it was unable to fight the Tuareg rebellion, which had reached a critical point after weapons and soldiers flooded out of chaotic Libya. Here we have another unintended consequence of NATO’s intervention in Libya: an African democracy in ruins.